Teaching Guide

Please refer to the module Teaching Guide for additional information.

Lesson summary
Instructional use
Pre-lesson activity
Standards covered by this lesson
Selected bibliography
Assessment

Lesson summary

John Peter Zenger was a printer in New York who was approached by local politicians looking for a publisher. They had an axe to grind with the governor and wanted to publish information about him that was unfavorable -- but true. Zenger agreed to be their printer and ended up in jail for seditious libel. Zenger’s son tells the story of how his father was acquitted when Andrew Hamilton came up with a bold defense that questioned the role of the press in a free society. The story emphasizes the 1st Amendment, freedom of the press.

Instructional use

Please refer to the module Teaching Guide for instructional use scenarios.

Pre-lesson activity

It is recommended that teachers preview the lesson to identify concepts that may need to be reviewed before students begin. Concepts include the freedom of the press and the role of the media in a free society. Teachers may also wish to create a vocabulary/spelling list for terms found in this lesson.

Teachers may want to pose some questions to students before getting started: Do you think it's important for the press to publish anything they want against the government? In what cases do you think it would be wrong to publish negative information about the government? Who do you think should be held responsible when a newspaper publishes something wrong about a person or the government? What are the benefits of "freedom of the press" to society?

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Standards covered by this lesson


Refer to the module Teaching Guide for list a Language Arts goals covered by all WebDocent lessons.

Grades 7-8 Social Science and American History

Illinois State Goal 14

Understand, analyze, and compare political systems with an emphasis on the United States.   

Illinois State Goal 16

Understand and analyze events, trends, individuals, and movements shaping the history of Illinois, the United States, and other nations.

Selected bibliography

Thomas Isaiah. History of Printing, Vol. 2. (Newberry Library Ruggles Collection 332)


http://WWW.harwich.edu
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/zenger/zenger.html
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/zenger/zengerrecord.html
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/zenger/zengeraccount.html
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/zenger/nullification.html
http://www.historybuff.com/library/refzenger.html
http://www.pittsford.monroe.edu/directory/~decarlo/zenger.htm
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/history/Zenger.htm

Assessment

Refer to the module Teaching Guide for an explanation of the online journal for assessment purposes.


See the Additional Activities page for ideas for extending the lesson offline.

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